Monday, April 21, 2014

Gifts Kids Can Make: Fun Crayons

Our big quiet book giveaway ends tonight.  Be sure to enter here if you haven't had a chance yet.
 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

My 4-year-old and I had a great time making these crayons as a gift for his 6-year-old brother.  I read somewhere that it's best to use crayons that are not washable.  I also saw that cheap crayons do not work well.  So we went to the store and bought some new non-washable Crayola crayons for this project.  Little Mr. A was a great crayon-wrapper-peeler.

After getting all the paper off we broke the crayons into pieces that would fit into our silicone Lego mini-figure mold.  It was a little tricky to get enough crayon into each one but we got it to work.

We then set the silicone mold on a cookie sheet.  If you don't then when you grab them out of the oven the liquid crayon will spill!  We placed them in the oven (set at 225 degrees) for about 13 minutes.

Once the crayon was melted we let them cool.  After letting them sit for a few minutes I put them in the freezer to speed up the process! We popped them out of their mold and then placed them in an old stationary box.

Mr. A was so excited to give these as a gift to his older brother. His brother loves them!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hands Down You're the Best Teacher Around (Includes Free Printable!)

There are still a few days left to enter our big quiet book giveaway.  We're giving away 5 already made quiet book pages as well as 3 copies of Amy's book Quiet Book Patterns.  Enter here!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Teacher appreciation day is coming up and I wanted to share a simple card that my son made for his teacher in the past (inspired by this post).

We started by tracing his hand on a card upside down.

I then made this simple printable tag (using the free subway art I found at Burton Avenue) . . .

And we attached it to the card.

Inside he wrote a sweet and simple note to his teacher to go along with the gift he picked out.

(To print your own printable tagClick on picture below to enlarge, then right click and copy.  Open a word document, paste, adjust printable to the size you want.)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Serving Pink Lemonade's Big Quiet Book Giveaway!

Thank you to everyone who joined me in sharing my quiet book games over the last few months.
(Find the series along with the free templates HERE.)

As promised, today starts Serving Pink Lemonade's Big Quiet Book Giveaway!

What does that include???

First . . .

One lucky winner will receive all five quiet book games!

(dry erase marker not included)

Five quiet book pages already made for you!  These pages practically make up a quiet book all by themselves.  Keep them for your own kids or give them away as a "homemade" gift (you don't have to tell them you didn't make them :)  These pages come separately--meaning the pages will not be sewn together in a book.  This way you can arrange them into your own quiet book however you'd like or divide the pages into separate quiet books and add your own pages to them.  Sweet!

Second . . .

Three more lucky winners will receive a copy of my book Quiet book Patterns!

Quiet Book Patterns includes 25 easy-to-make activities for your children.  This book is full of original quiet book ideas that are sure to keep your child's brain active and their hands happy!

Each page is formulated to help your child to learn through play--because that is how young children learn best!

The pages include fun ways for children to use their imagination, develop storytelling and problem solving skills, express creativity, improve hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, as well as learn about sorting, color, and number recognition.  All of this and more through playing and having fun!

 Each book also contains a CD so you can easily print out the templates to make your book.   With simple instructions and templates in hand, I don't think there's an easier way to make a quiet book!

What are you waiting for?  Enter through rafflecopter below and be sure to tell your friends to stop by and enter too!

Good luck!

Friday, April 4, 2014

General Conference Doodle Books

I've seen doodle books floating around the web.  None of them quite fit what I was looking for so I decided to design one of my own.  It's pretty generic and can be used for this or any upcoming General Conference.  Each page has a part sectioned off for notes and the rest of the space can be used for any doodles!

Each page is meant to be printed on a half sheet of paper (8 1/2 x 5 1/2)--which is why there is so much blank space at the bottom of each sheet.  I then plan to hole punch them and tie them together with some twine.  

My boys are pretty excited to use them! (And youth and adults might just love them too!)

Have a happy Conference weekend!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Alphabet Adventure App

There's a fun new app on Story Panda called Mila and Penn's Alphabet Adventure that I wanted to share with you today.

Loveable characters Mila and Penn journey through the alphabet as they discover eggs with legs and giraffes on roller-skates.  This is not your typical ABC's book but rather a beautifully illustrated adventure through words and drawings.

Plus the nice people at Story Panda are giving away these three printable activities to go along with Mila and Penn's Alphabet Adventure.  Feel free to use them how you'd like.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Quiet Book Games Part 5: Dots and Squares (Free Template Included)

Today I'm sharing the final post in my quiet book game series.  I hope you've had just as much fun with them as I have!  Today's quiet book game is probably my favorite, Dots and Squares.   You will find the free template as well as links to the other posts in this series at the end of this post.

Be sure to check back next week for my big giveaway!  You won't want to miss it!

Growing up my sisters and I called this game "the dot game".  My husband informed me that it is called "squares".  Upon doing a little research I learned that this game goes by many names including: dots and boxes, squares, pigs in a pen, paddocks, square-it, dots and dashes, dots, smart dots, dot boxing, or simply the dot game.  That's a lot of names!  It looks like both my husband and I were right.  If you're not familiar with the rules of this game you can find them here.

To make a dots and squares quiet book game you need:
1. Template (found at the end of this post)
2. A pre-cut blank quiet book page.  I always use Pellon peltex for my quiet book pages--it's sturdy and you don't have to worry about fraying edges.  I make all my quiet book pages 7 x 8.5 inches.
3. A piece of 12 or 16 gauge vinyl, roughly 9 x 10 inches.
4. Acid free permanent marker
5. Dry erase marker
6. Single hole paper punch


Use your single hole paper punch to make the holes for binding in your quiet book page.  Download the template and print it out.  Cut out template and lay it on your quiet book page.  Use the dots on the template as a gauge for where to mark the dots on your quiet book page.   Mark the dots along the right and left sides and across the top using your marker.

Slide the template down and continue to mark the dots, using the template for a guide, until you've reached the bottom of your page.  

You now have a page full of dots.

To make your game erasable you need to add a vinyl surface to the page.  To do this roughly cut a 9 x 10 inch piece of vinyl--it's easier to apply if the vinyl is slightly bigger than your quiet book page.  Place the vinyl over your page and pin it along each edge and each corner.  Make sure it's pulled taught as you pin each side.  Sew around all four sides at an 1/8 inch seam.

The tricky thing about sewing vinyl is the presser foot sticking to the vinyl.  To help your presser foot glide along smoothly apply matte finish Scotch tape to the bottom of the presser foot as shown below.  This works wonderfully (and eliminates a ton of frustration!).

Now trim off the excess vinyl that is hanging over the edge of your page.  Re-punch the holes that the vinyl covered up.  Your hole punch will easily cut through the vinyl.

Now your game is ready to play.  Use a dry erase marker when playing to easily erase the game when done--the kind with the built in erasers make for easy clean up.

Be sure to check out the other posts in this series:

Part 1: Othello
Part 2: Simple Puzzles
Part 3: Tic-Tac-Toe
Part 4: Memory Match

(To print templatesClick on picture below to enlarge, then right click and copy.  Open a word document, reduce your margins to zero and paste.  Expand to 100% and print.)

Like this quiet book idea?  Find more of my quiet book ideas here and in my new book Quiet Book Patterns: 25 easy-to-make activities for your children.

Monday, March 24, 2014

How To Add an Image Onto Fabric Using Your Ink Jet Printer

Today I wanted to share with you how I printed the squares for my I Spy quilt that I shared last week.  (See it here.)  It was really easy to do, but I have to say that I was so nervous to try it.  I started by making a sample square and ran it through the wash a few times because the last thing I wanted to happen was for all the printed squares on my quilt to fade after I put it in the wash once or twice.  When testing my sample this was the only time I ever pulled something out of the washer and hoped that the mark was still there!  I was so relieved to see the print still looking dark and crisp--no fading at all.

Here's how I did it:

Cut an 8.5" x 11" piece of fabric and freezer paper.  Iron the fabric to the freezer paper using a synthetic setting on your iron.  You want to make sure the fabric is good and stuck to the freezer paper, especially in the corners.  If you use too much heat and pressure with your iron though you will not be able to remove the freezer paper later.  Remember doing a sample test never hurts.  After you've ironed your fabric and freezer paper together it's ready to run through your printer.  Before printing I went to my printer options and selected "professional quality" so that I would get the darkest, best print possible.  Then I printed it just like I would a normal sheet of paper.

Once printed, separate the fabric from the freezer paper.

Now you'll want to heat set your image.  I used a high heat setting with no steam.  The idea is that you want to evaporate any moisture from the ink to make the image set.

After that I cut out my printed fabric into 5x5 squares to use for my quilt.

I think they turned out perfect!  Nice, dark, clean sharp printing!

And here's my quilt all done!  These little I Spy squares really added a nice touch to this fun quilt.

Have you tried printing on fabric before?  How did it work for you?

Monday, March 17, 2014

I Spy Quilt (with ink jet printed squares)

Jocelyn over at The Quiet Book Blog is giving away a copy of Quiet Book Patterns.  Today is the last day to enter so be sure and hurry over for your chance to win.  Find the giveaway HERE.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

It's taken me a while to get around to sharing this but it is one of my favorite projects of late.  For Christmas last year I made my kids an I Spy quilt.  A fabulous friends of mine was making one and shared her fabric with me so I really had no excuse.  It's been years since I've made a quilt and it was so much fun.  I just love how all those little squares line up perfectly and I love watching it all come together piece by piece.

This quilt has been lots of fun!

Did you see my little I Spy squares in the pictures above?  Here's a closer look:

I'm just so happy how those little printed squares turned out.  And guess how I printed them?  Simply using my printer at home!  To see a tutorial of how I did it go HERE.

We have had an unusually cold and snowy winter this year so the fuzzy fabric I picked for the back made it the perfect blanket to cuddle up in on a cold day.

Nice and cozy for curling up to watch a movie or for playing a little I Spy.

I just love quilts!

I had so much fun making this one I pretty tempted to make another soon.

Be sure to check back next week to see how I made those printed I Spy squares.